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Dr Nikki Rajakaruna


Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 5497
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO4.234b  

Nikki is a Lecturer, a Researcher, the First Year Coordinator for the Criminology Courses and a Higher Degrees Supervisor in the School of Arts and Humanities.

Current teaching

  • CRI1107 - The Criminal Justice Process
  • CRI1208 - Research Methods I
  • CRI3112 - Operational Policing
  • CRI3206 - Misconduct and Corruption Prevention.


  • Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm.


Nikki’s has taught in a range of areas at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her work is divided between teaching in the Criminology discipline in the School of Arts and Humanities and research in the Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Social Change. Her specific research focus is policing; evident from her teaching in policing focused units, and also her research profile which evidences strong collaboration with industry partners such as the Western Australia Police Force. She has conducted various projects into police use of force, issues related to police integrity and the use of intelligence in policing.

Nikki is also the First Year Coordinator. She has a strong interest in assisting students in their transition to tertiary education, student retention and the first year experience at tertiary institutions.

Professional associations

  • Member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
  • Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.

Awards and recognition

University and National Teaching awards

  • 2018 – The School of Arts and Humanities, Psychology and Criminology Staff Award.

Research areas and interests

  • Police use of force
  • The use of intelligence in policing
  • Police integrity
  • Contemporary issues in policing
  • Student retention in tertiary education
  • Student career paths (post-graduation).


  • Bachelor of Arts, Edith Cowan University.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Edith Cowan University, 2019.


Recent Research Grants

  • Validity of Use of Force Training,  WA Police ,  Grant,  2016 - 2021,  $36,098.
  • Prevalence of crime and anti-social behaviour and perceptions of community safety in the City of Cockburn,  City of Cockburn,  Grant,  2020 - 2021,  $24,701.
  • One Life WA Suicide Prevention Strategy,  Centrecare (Inc),  Grant - WA Suicide Prevention Strategy,  2011 - 2014,  $1,000,000.
  • Misuse of the information management system by Public Servants employed within WA Police,  WA Police ,  Grant,  2010 - 2012,  $9,091.
  • Problem Gambling in CALD Communities,  Centrecare (Inc),  Grant,  2010 - 2011,  $48,873.
  • Age of First Cannabis Use,  WA Police ,  Grant,  2009,  $11,685.
  • Blueline Evaluation,  WA Police ,  Grant,  2009,  $9,091.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Book Chapters

  • Scott, A., Rajakaruna, N., Handscomb, MA., Waterworth, GA., (2020), Public familiarity and understanding of stalking/harassment legislation in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Psycho-criminological approaches to stalking behavior: An international perspective, 17, Hoboken, USA, John Wiley & Sons.

Journal Articles

  • Henry, P., Rajakaruna, N., Crous, C., Buckley, J., (2020), Key attributes of an effective human source handler: Implications for handler selection and training. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 93(4), 290-309, DOI: 10.1177/0032258X19862589.
  • Scott, AJ., Duff, SC., Sheridan, L., Rajakaruna, N., (2019), The influence of contextual information regarding the breakdown of relationships and perpetrator-target sex composition on perceptions of relational stalking. Psychology, Crime and Law, 25(4), 364-380 , DOI: 10.1080/1068316x.2018.1529231.
  • Rajakaruna, N., Henry, P., Scott, A., (2019), Misuse of police information systems: Predicting perceived likelihood of misuse among unsworn police employees. Policing (Oxford): a journal of policy and practice, 2019(Article in press), 1-15, DOI: 10.1093/police/paz034.
  • Rajakaruna, N., Henry, P., Cutler, A., Fairman, G., (2017), Ensuring the validity of police use of force training. Police Practice and Research: an international journal, 18(5), 507-521, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2016.1268959.
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